Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 31, 2006
Why is the ground brown?
Ecologists have long asked, Why is the world green? In other words, why aren't herbivores, such as insects and grazing animals, more successful at eating the world's green leaves, also known as plant biomass?

'March Madness' effects observed in ultracold gases
Physicists at Harvard University, George Mason University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have discovered new quantum effects in ultracold gases that may lead to improved understanding of electrical conductivity in metals.

Hormone can predict pulmonary hypertension and potential death or survival
Measuring levels of a hormone called brain natriuretic peptide in individuals with serious lung disease can predict the presence of pulmonary hypertension and a patient's potential death or survival, regardless of clinical severity or the cause of illness.

Pigment is focus of macular degeneration research
Whether a tiny yellow pigment is the main thing standing between many older people and macular degeneration is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.

Jackson Laboratory joins National Centers for Systems Biology
The Jackson Laboratory joins the National Centers for Systems Genetics to fully exploit the power of the laboratory mouse to shed light on how complex traits -- and complex diseases -- have evolved.

Laccetti to speak at prestigious Oxford Round Table
Silvio Laccetti, a Professor in Stevens Institute of Technology's Humanities and Social Sciences Department, will participate in the Oxford Round Table, August 13-18, 2006, at St.

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine ranked #3 in nation by US News and World Report
The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is among the top three research-oriented medical schools in the nation, according to an annual survey of graduate schools by US News and World Report.

Jefferson scientists reveal new mechanism that causes spread of colorectal cancer
Researchers have known for years that the enzyme MMP-9 plays a key role in the spread of colorectal cancer.

2006 Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) awards announced
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) has announced the results of the 2006 competitions for HFSP international research grants, postdoctoral fellowships and career development awards.

New device could cut chemotherapy deaths
A new method of delivering chemotherapy to cancer patients without incurring side effects such as hair loss and vomiting is being developed.

Young patients more likely to die in countries where health care is funded by private insurance
Countries that have national health services easily accessible to people of all ages are more likely to have better survival rates for their teenagers and young adults (TYAs) with cancer, than are countries where individuals have to pay for their own medical insurance, according to new research presented at Teenage Cancer Trust's conference in London.

Single cell amoeba increases MRSA numbers 1000- fold
Scientists in the UK have found that a type of amoeba acts as an incubator for MRSA bacteria.

PENN surgeons offer transfusion-free heart surgery to all
Transfusion-free cardiac surgery is now available at the University of Pennsylvania Health System to anyone who wants it and qualifies as a good candidate.

Scent of fear impacts cognitive performance
The chemical warning signals produced by fear improve cognitive performance, according to a study at Rice University in Houston.

Microbiology meeting focuses on myriad of topics
The role of evolution in science education, how bacteria can help solve the energy crisis, the long-term health effects of Hurricane Katrina, and how microbes communicate and coordinate with each other to build complex communities are just some of the many topics to be covered at the 106th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology to be held May 21-25, 2006 in Orlando, Florida.

Combined treatment cuts inflammatory cells in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
The combination of two existing clinical treatments, salmeterol and fluticasone propionate, can significantly reduce inflammatory cells in the airways of current and former smokers being treated for moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

MINOS experiment sheds light on mystery of neutrino disappearances
British scientists are joining colleagues from around the world today (Thursday March 30th 2006) at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in the USA to share the first results from a new neutrino experiment.

New discoveries point to 'cave of John the Baptist' as important site in the time of Isaiah
Recently completed excavations at Israel's Suba Cave, an archaeological site that is possibly connected with John the Baptist, has revealed new features that deepen the mystery of the site's ancient origins, and point to extensive use of the area's installations during the 7th Century BC - roughly the time of Isaiah.

Major obesity gene is 'lost in the shuffle'
Scientists from The University of Tokyo announce that gibbons do not carry a major obesity gene that is present in the genomes of all other primates, including humans.

Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel condemns 'censorship' of scientists
Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel has compared the effects of government science policy to the Eisenhower-McCarthy era in an explosive interview published on the
AGU journal highlights - 31 March 2006
In this issue: More intense solar activity expected; Increasing greenhouse gases will strengthen the Antarctic Circumpolar Current; Deep atmospheric convection enhances natural greenhouse gas feedbacks; Submarine Groundwater Discharge in Japan; Infragravity energy is transferred to swell in the surfzone; Sea ice during the Last Glacial Maximum weakened deep water formation in the North Atlantic.

Identity theft, cancer detection among interactive demos at UH event
Cancer detection, homeland security and Mars topography are among the subjects of interactive displays showcased during an open house at the University of Houston.

Cancer virus protein needed for successful infection
New research shows that a protein made by a cancer-causing virus that was thought to be unimportant for its replication is in fact critically needed by the virus to initiate an infection and to reproduce.

Homeoprotein DNA-binding specificity
In the April 1 issue of G&D, Dr. Cory Abate-Shen (UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) and colleagues resolve the long-standing question of how homeoproteins selectively bind their DNA targets in vivo. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to